Here at GBI Partners, we own and operate the most current drone-based LIDAR technology and software available on the market. Aerial LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is an aerial mapping technology in which a laser returns from the earth’s surface are reflected to an overflying aircraft equipped with on-board GPS and IMU sensors. Utilizing this system allows our team to produce a variety of highly accurate three-dimensional topography maps over virtually any landscape. By utilizing this system, we can now deliver surveys of higher accuracy in a mere fraction of the time.
Our current LIDAR acquisition platform utilizes the AL3-32 sensor from Phoenix Aerial Systems, capable of recording an average of 700,000 scanned points per second. This sensor is mounted to Phoenix Aerial’s ALTA UAV, a state-of-the-art carbon fiber hexa-rotor drone, flown exclusively by GBI’s own team of licensed pilots. This combination, along with enough battery power to keep the drone in the sky for over four hours, allows our team to capture hundreds of millions of data points every day. By acquiring more data points over the same area, we’re now able to create much more accurate topography models than would have ever been possible with standard equipment in the past.
Post-processing of the LIDAR data is handled in-house by GBI’s dedicated teams in both our Houston and Austin offices. The data is run through multiple applications in order to fuse the data points from the entire flight into a single viewable file. During this time, we have the ability to classify and isolate base-level ground points exclusively for topography mapping or retain all points which can be delivered as a viewable 3D point cloud file. By classifying ground, vegetation, building, tree trunk and tree canopy points individually we can now tailor files specifically to the client’s needs. Anything from the volume calculations, floodplain mapping, topography, and forestry surveys can now be flown, scanned, and calculated faster than ever before.